Boss reflects on victory over Leeds United and has special praise for returning frontman.Manager Paul Cox has hailed the character of Liam Hearn, who marked his Mansfield Town debut with a remarkable brace against Championship heavyweights Leeds United at One Call Stadium tonight.
Hearn, who has spent much of the last two seasons on the sidelines through due to separate long-term injuries, came off the bench and changed the course of the match.
His quick-fire brace helped us to a comfortable 2-0 victory and Cox was delighted to see the frontman not only score, but get through his time on the pitch without any reaction to his previous injuries.
“It was a really good work out for us again,” said our boss. “The lads worked hard and I’m really grateful that David (Hockaday) brought a really strong side down, because that’s what we want.
“The score-line for me means a little, because it’s nice and it gives the boys a little bit of confidence, but I’m kind of looking forward to the Grimsby and Lincoln City games as that’s where it’ll test our mindset.
“These [home] games are lovely and it’s nice for the supporters. We’re in a nice place at the minute, the boys are working hard and it’s lovely to see Liam, with his injury situation, come and [do well] in his first game.”
He continued: “He scored the penalty like he’d never been away and the second goal was just pure Liam Hearn.
“As a side I think we’re working hard and it’s nice to see that little bit of depth now with one or two [players] coming back from injury. We’re enjoying pre-season – the boys are working hard and grabbing the concepts.
He continued: “When you’ve had an injury like [Liam Hearn] has, I think just coming onto the pitch is a massive statement, but when you come on, get brought down for a penalty and then have the mentality to get up, having been out for so long, and stick it away just shows his character.
“Every centre-forward is a confidence person, but that’ll have done him the world of good. The main thing was getting him on and off the pitch without any sort of reaction to the injury and progressing from here.
“A lot of people will look at this [result] and make assumptions about it, but it all starts on 09 August for me.”